Trump Stumbles Into Europe’s Pipeline Politics

Before reveling in a new clash of civilizations in his Warsaw speech Thursday, President Donald Trump cannonballed into energy geopolitics, committing the U.S. to combatting Russian energy bullying — at the possible expense of European unity.

During a lightning visit to Poland, Trump gave public backing to a new, 12-country plan to tie together Central-Eastern Europe, framing his support as a ploy to counter the Kremlin’s penchant for using supplies of natural gas as a cudgel against its neighbors.

“America will be your strongest ally and steadfast partner in this truly historic initiative,” he proclaimed.

The so-called “Three Seas Initiative” (TSI), dreamed up last year by Poland with an assist from Croatia, aims to take advantage of the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas to break Central-Eastern Europe’s isolation, especially on matters of transport and energy. Ukraine’s dismemberment at Russia’s hands helped jumpstart the plan, which parallels other U.S.-backed approaches to knit north- and southeastern Europe together into a bulwark against Moscow.

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